Pence aiming to reassure allies at start of Trump presidency

A senior White House foreign policy advisor says the trip is "an opportunity for the vice president to reassure our allies and our partners and also to lay out our U.S. priorities for the transatlantic relationship on behalf of" U.S. President Donald Trump.

His challenges in making the case at meetings of leaders in Munich and Brussels have been compounded by the tumultuous opening of Donald Trump's presidency: a ban on travel to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries that riled much of the European public, and the resignation of Trump's national security adviser over contacts with officials of a Russian regime many of them consider a rising threat.

Bottom line: Michael Flynn lied about his discussions with Russian Federation.

Petro Poroshenko will meet with Pence, the Ukrainian president's website said. Who is making policy? The vice president will first visit Germany for the annual Munich Security Conference following which he will meet with leaders in Brussels.

Thereafter, he would travel to Brussels for a meeting with leadership of European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

At the same time, he also will repeat demands that European allies contribute more to the alliance.

"We are the most secure and most prosperous when both the USA and Europe are strong and united", the adviser said regarding the tone of Pence's trip.

According to the official, the first theme of Pences trip is reassurance.

Pence would attend the Munich Security Conference opening later today, wherein he is expected to meet several world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

U.S. Senator John McCain, an outspoken critic of Trump's Russian Federation policies, is among more than a dozen lawmakers expected to attend as part of a U.S. congressional delegation. He has made several overtures to Russian Federation, calling President Vladimir Putin "very smart" and floating the idea of easing sanctions imposed on the country for its incursions into Ukraine.

European countries along Russia's border were rattled about deeper U.S. In the earliest days of his presidency, Trump declared his intention to fight and defeat the Islamic State group. "The question is will Trump listen to him?" Flynn was forced to resign Monday following reports he misled Pence about contacts with a Russian diplomat, which the vice-president learned about through media accounts. He based his claims on a conversation he had with Flynn.

"He didn't tell the vice president of the United States the facts and then he didn't remember and that's just not acceptable", Trump said of Flynn.

A diplomat from a eurozone country told BuzzFeed News that Flynn's resignation was welcome, and added that they expected the new USA administration to face many problems and challenges as it navigates its stances on rivals like Russian Federation and China, and allies like the United Kingdom and Germany.

Conference organizer Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the United States, said that other issues - Trump's backing for Britain's decision to leave the European Union, his perceived closeness to Russian Federation as well as his inaugural promise to put "America first" - also have raised "an unbelievable number of question marks".

Vice President Pence would be the appropriate person to give allies a more reassuring tone according to Stavridis.



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